Universal Access!?

Okay, so a few weeks ago, my display for my MacBook Pro 17″ lost a little bit of definition in it’s color values. The difference was subtle, but once I noticed, it become very frustrating. I first noticed the problem when I visited my own website SadMonkeyDesign.com. In the white background, the SadMonkey logo is set to a 5% black (a very very light grey). When I visited the site, the logo had disappeared. The current version of the site had been up for months and all was well. Now, all of the sudden, the logo was gone. I was a little puzzled, so I checked my root folders and made sure all my files and pages were in order. They were, but I couldn’t see the logo. It was still there, I just couldn’t see it. So, I opened my system preferences window to see if I could figure out what had gone wrong, thinking maybe I had somehow inadvertently changed my brightness settings. When I opened the System Preferences window, which overlapped my browser window, I could see the logo. It was there, but only visible when it was under the drop shadow from the window on top.

“This was a problem. This was a BIG problem!”

So what happened? Well I had recently updated my browser, Firefox. I had been having issues with this new version. Multiple load delays, timeouts, and every other problem a browser shouldn’t have. So I thought, ” Yes! Firefox was to blame for this as well. It had to be!” So, I spent quite some time researching the Firefox update only to come up empty. So I thought, “Fine, I’ll dump Firefox and move over to Opera. I’ll recreate all my bookmarks, and all my other settings, as much of a pain as that is, I’ll do it, because, obviously, as a designer, I CAN NOT operate with an inaccurate monitor.” So I moved over to Opera… that didn’t do it. My logo still wasn’t visible. Confused, and beginning to wonder if this problem was larger than just a browser problem, I opened Photoshop and tested out a 5% black. “I COUDN’T SEE IT! This was a problem. This was a BIG problem!” As a designer, this was completely unacceptable.

So now, I’m thinking that it must have been the recent MacBook update I had just downloaded and installed. It must have messed up my Color Profiles. So I spent more time trying to modify, change, and figure out just how in the world I could go about fixing the problem. Well, I couldn’t. I knew that’s what it had to be, but I just couldn’t see anything wrong. So, flustered, I gave up for the time being. My workload was light at the moment, I needed to spend some time marketing, so I thought, “Well, I’ll just wait for the new UPDATE, it’s bound to be out in the next few days (they are ALWAYS out every few days it seems…) and that HOPEFULLY will be the fix of my problem.” Well, guess what happened. NOTHING! That wasn’t it. So now I’m thinking, “GREAT! I HAVE to fix this. I’ve tried everything I can think of. I’m going to have to do a system re-install and go back to ALL my defaults.” Obviously, not fun! Well, I thought I’d at the very least, I’d invest just a little bit more time trolling through a few more forums to see if I could find out if it was something simple I was overlooking.

EUREKA!!! I hit gold!

EUREKA!!! I hit gold! Somebody else DID have my problem, and they to, had a world of a time trying to figure out just what went wrong. He tried everything, and I’m not sure why or how he came across the answer, but here it is.

UnderĀ  “System Preferences”, under the “System” settings, there is a little thing called “Universal Access.” Some how, some way, the settings in Universal Access had changed. Underneath “Seeing” Underneath “Display” the slider for “Enhance Contrast” had moved from Normal to a higher contrast setting.

Picture 10

To fix the problem, all I had to do was move the slider all the way to the left as shown below.

Picture 11

Bingo, Bango, that was it! My screen is back to normal, I can see the 5%er’s again, and all in the world is right… well, okay not so much, but my screen sure is back to normal!

Now I know, I wrongly thought it had been the Firefox update, of which I am still unhappy with its performance. Then I thought it may have been the MacBook update, to which I am STILL unsure if this was the source of the problem, but I noticed that my fellow comrade in pain had recently been setting up a gmail account. If you are unfamiliar with gmail, operated by google, there are many new and exciting features available. One of which is a free, live video chat. Once I came across the gmail connection, that made me think. I too had recently downloaded and installed the livechat plug-in for gmail, and that IS about the time my screen changed. Like I said, the change was subtle, but that had to have been it. So, word to the wise, if you install ANY software for your computer pertaining to video or webcam conference capabilities, your settings in Universal Access could change.

Please, if you know ANYONE who is having a problem with their displays, save them my frustration! Tell them to check out this dialog box.

Universal Access!? I have know idea why, but at least it was an easy fix!

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One response to “Universal Access!?

  1. God bless you! I have that issue with my Mac and just got frustrated not finding any viable solution. Thank you very much for this post!